DNA polymerase III, the core of the DNA polymerase III holoenzyme, has been purified 28,000-fold to 97% homogeneity from Escherichia coli HMS-83. The enzyme contains subunits: alpha, epsilon, and theta of 140,000, 25,000, and 10,000 daltons, respectively. The alpha subunit has been previously shown to be a component of both DNA polymerase III and the more complex DNA polymerase III holoenzyme (Livingston, D.M., Hinkle, D., and Richardson, C. (1975) J. Biol. Chem. 250, 461-469; McHenry, C., and Kornberg, A. (1977) J. Biol. Chem. 252, 6478-6484). It is demonstrated here that the epsilon and theta subunits are also subunits of the DNA polymerase III holoenzyme. Thus, the DNA polymerase III holoenzyme contains at least six different subunits. Our preparation has both the 3' leads to 5' and 5' leads to 3' exonuclease activities previously assigned to DNA polymerase III (Livingston, D., and Richardson, C. (1975) J. Biol. Chem. 250, 470-478).